Meet Rick Wilkerson

Cheryl Hargrove Outsider Interviews

This world is full of people pushing themselves, unlearning harmful beliefs and behaviors, following their curiosity, and just trying to do their part to love life and leave the world better than they found it. If they can do it, so can you, so can we. Because we’re all in this together, and we’re tougher than we think.

In this week’s Outsider Interview, we’d like to introduce you to Rick.

It’s your birthday and you get to have anything for dinner you want. What are we eating?
Well, since today is my birthday (9/4) this one’s easy. I’m having a big ribeye cooked medium with a baked sweet potato. Steamed veggies on the side. Oh… and I was surprised by a homemade Apple Pie.

Where did you grow up? And where are you now?
I grew up in rural southeast Missouri. We’ve moved around Missouri and Tennessee several times in the last 30 years, but now we’re back where I started in southeast Missouri. I’m just a country boy at heart.

Are you a Minimalist/Generalist/Enthusiast?
This is one of the reasons I like Outside the Box. I pick the track that works best at the time. This summer we were traveling for most of July so I did minimalist with dumbbells and jump rope. At home I’ll do Enthusiast until a rower or rings are required.

What’s your typical workout environment?
When I’m home it’s in the shop. Except for the barbell, most everything I’ve got is DIY. Power rack with pull-up bar, plyo box and sandbag. Got a couple dumbbells and a cheap jump rope to round out the equipment.

What’s been your best workout gear investment?
My first and only real purchase was a Rogue Echo Barbell with set of Echo bumper plates.

If we took a look at your workout playlist, what songs would we find?
Not really into music, but I’ll usually play my Pandora thumbprint station which will include 70’s & 80’s rock, country, and christian worship.

What’s your workout routine like?
Since I work from home getting up early and doing a workout before work is the best. I have to get up everyday anyway so why not do a workout, right. Everyone else is still sleeping and it doesn’t take away from family time. If I talk myself out of that then I’ll use my lunch hour. Of course, all this will change once it gets too cold to workout in the shop.

Which movements make your body smile? And which ones do you wish you could banish from the program forever?
Not sure anything makes my body smile. I’m always saying “ugh”, “brutal”, “no more”, “what? we’re not done yet?” But the worst are overhead squats, my joints just don’t move like that.

But on second thought I do enjoy cart-wheels. They just don’t get programmed often…Taz…just a suggestion.

If you could workout with anyone, who would you choose?
I’m still trying to get my wife and son (17) to workout with me. I think they see the aftermath of me collapsed on the floor trying to catch my breath. Not everyone believes me when I tell them it’s worth it. To be honest I’m not sure anyone believes me.

What’s your biggest obstacle to consistently working out? And how do you overcome it?
Keeping to the same routine every day is key for me. I wake-up, get out of bed, put on workout clothes, grab something to drink and walk to the shop. The night before I’ll make sure I’ve got the clothes and drink ready. The less decisions to make the better chance of getting it done. This is another spot where Outside the Box helps, I don’t have the mental stress of figuring out what to do.

We believe fitness is about what we can do with our bodies. What do you want to do with your fitness?
If possible I’d keep playing softball with the young guys just to show them that you’re never too old, but we’ve moved and that’s not possible. For now I’m running in obstacle course races. They require a good mix of strength and endurance. Plus there’s mud so yeah…that’s just fun.

Other than that, I know that being fit makes everything easier. It’s just way more obvious when you’re in your fifties than when you’re in your thirties.

In the last five years, what new belief, behavior, or habit has most improved your life?
I started working on my fitness just before turning 50. I was never an athlete, but athletic enough to do most things adequately. But when I discovered I couldn’t do a pull-up anymore I knew something had to change. I was able to lose enough weight and gain enough strength to do those again. Since then I’ve had only one goal. “Don’t Stop” because everything’s easier when you’re fit.

If you could re-experience a book/movie/tv-show/song/album for the first time, what would it be?
My first thought was the 1993 The Three Musketeers movie. I was rolling in the isles and embarrassing my wife when we watched it in the theaters. But what I’d really love to re-experience is reading the Ranger’s Apprentice series to my son. When he was little, I would read a chapter a night and made it through an entire 10 book series. Great times!

What made you go Outside the Box?
I’ve never actually been to a Crossfit box so in reality I’ve been outside the box my entire fitness journey. I started with a chain gym that happened to have a location close to work and close to my home. I didn’t have a plan and would just use the different exercise machines until I was sweaty and tired.

Eventually I came across a book titled “Fire Your Gym!” that had a several-week plan and talked about this Crossfit thing. That led me to the Crossfit homepage and Youtube videos. From there I used whatever websites might have workouts listed and I could figure out what was intended.

Fast forward to just a few months ago when I just happened across a mention of Outside the Box. It was exactly what I’d been searching for for years. Just the daily workouts might have been enough, but we also get detailed warmups, workout goals, and video descriptions. Then there’s the bonus of Beyond the Whiteboard for tracking and a great Facebook group community. After the first week I knew I’d found the perfect solution for my workouts.

Get to know this community a little bit better by reading through some of our Outsider Interviews. We’re a wolf pack. A band of misfits. Peas in a pod. And we stay gold.

Cheryl Hargrove Administrator
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